Concerned primarily with his own ego

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting take on Trump in this conversation, saying he didn’t do all the authoritarian things he said he was going to do.

FS: So the authoritarian rhetoric didn’t materialise. Do you think that’s because it was always just talk, part of a tough guy image? Or do you think he just wasn’t capable of executing it?

AS: I don’t think he actually likes the exercise of power. He’s not that interested in controlling the lives of everyone around him, or indeed most Americans. He’s concerned primarily with his own ego, with his own glory, and with his own sense of being right in a particular moment. And so when it comes to difficult things, like rounding up 11 million people, he didn’t even try. There was some increased enforcement from ICE, but not much. We know how much wall he built, which is about a few hundred feet; we know how much Mexico paid for it, which was zero.

Hmm. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. He’s lazy. That may be the thread that saves us. He’s lazy and very easily bored. Talking about himself, bragging, threatening, that’s the fun stuff, but actually doing complicated things is work, and he doesn’t want to work.

FS: Some people have accused you of “Trump derangement syndrome” for the level of your concern. In retrospect, do you feel like you had a mild case of it?

AS: No. The former President Donald Trump is himself deranged, that is where the source of the derangement is. All we’re doing is responding to what he says and what he does. And what he said was: I intend to upend the entire Constitution of the United States and run it as a dictator. He didn’t do it. Now, the question is, why didn’t he do it? And some people say, well, he was checked by others. And he was. But my sense is he doesn’t actually want that kind of control. It’s too much responsibility.

And way too much work.

Let’s hope so.

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